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Connected Government Focus: Cybersecurity


A critical concern that is often raised during discussions about connecting governments is the issue of cybersecurity and how best to protect vulnerabilities against illegal actions. As departments are drawn ever-closer together through their systems and processes, and whole parts of government rely increasingly on technology to get things done, the risk posed by some form of cyber-attack becomes an increasingly worrying prospect.


This isn’t just a concern held by public sector officials. In the private sector too, there is an increasing awareness among senior executives that data protection and cyber security are areas that they should absolutely concern themselves with. Previously, such issues might have been filed under the same category as other risk factors – ranging from natural disasters to economic conditions – but as technology continues to march into all aspects of working life, security of these technological assets has become a concern very much in its own right.


Indeed, a recent global survey by KPMG found that, of over 1,200 CEOs surveyed, 29% viewed cybersecurity as the issue that makes the greatest impact on their business.


Of course, a leader needs to consider a great many potential threats to their organisation’s operation, and dealing with any of them is unlikely to come without a cost. This is certainly true of cybersecurity. However, there are also potential competitive advantages for both the public and private sector in better incorporating cybersecurity into their day-to-day operations – primarily in the increased capacity to satisfy and impress an organisation’s customers.


For government, while technology certainly has the capacity to help better connect citizens and governments around the region, the possibility of poorly-secured data or websites brought down by attack are only likely to frustrate, annoy or severely damage this same relationship. Investing in cybersecurity is therefore not only essential for operations, but also for ensuring that a bond of trust is formed and maintained between citizen and government whenever they utilise this online connectivity.


How critical is cybersecurity to efforts towards more connected government?
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